High ranking Seattle suburb has it all

Finding a perfect combination of city atmosphere and nature surroundings is easily just outside the Seattle city limits in Bellevue. Ranked by CNN as the No. 4 place to live in America in 2010, Bellevue has a small downtown area overlooking Lake Washington, making it stand out among real estate in Seattle, WA.

The high-end neighborhood is the original home to national retail stores such as Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer, both of which have helped make the city a go-to destination for shopping and fine dining. From well-known markets to unique boutique shops, the walkable downtown area of Bellevue is a shopper’s paradise. While stores like Jimmy Choo and Neiman Marcus line the streets, so do local shops where visitors and residents can support the community.

A recent addition to the neighborhood came in the form of ultra premium juices and foods. Evolution Fresh opened its doors in the spring and the company's success led to the opening of another location in downtown Seattle on July 20. Evolution Fresh offers organic, vegetarian and vegan options.

The clean, safe environment of Bellevue has more to offer than shopping, however. Known as the “City in the Park,” Bellevue has more than 1,700 acres of preserved parks, ten of which are right on the lake. Boasting roughly 40 miles of trails, hikers, cyclists, walkers and runners can spend hours enjoying the outdoors. Visitors to the area can spend time along the reflection pool or at the 14-foot waterfall in the Bellevue Downtown Park. All these areas are well within reach of central downtown.

Bellevue neighborhoods are often accompanied by gorgeous public landscaping that is inviting to all. Many locales also have vistas of local mountain ranges, it’s picture perfect. The town has two golf courses as well, both with pristine facilities. The Bellevue Golf Course and Crossroads Par 3 Golf Course have distinct personalities for golfers. At Bellevue Golf Course, golfers must direct the ball through tree-lined fairways. Crossroads is ideal for beginning athletes and is a short nine-hole course.

Demographically, Bellevue is very diverse and the town’s top ranking high school extracurricular activities and low unemployment figures provide much incentive for families looking at real estate in Seattle. According to CNN, the city has more jobs than it does residents, due to the local offices of Microsoft, T-Mobile, Verizon and Expedia.